01:09 GMT10 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US police are carrying out an inquiry to find out if the suspect in a California synagogue shooting could have been involved in the vandalism of a mosque, also located in California, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore has stated.

    "Sheriff's Detectives are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Escondido Police Department to check Earnest's possible involvement in the arson and vandalism of a mosque in Escondido on 24 March", Gore said in a statement.

    The statement comes after a 19-year-old man, identified as John T. Earnest, opened fire on Saturday at a synagogue in the California city of Poway, located in the vicinity of San Diego. The attack left one person dead and three others injured, including the synagogue's rabbi and a young girl. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has deemd the incident a hate crime. The shooter was later detained.

    READ MORE: Family of Girl Hurt in US Synagogue Attack Fled Israel as Rockets Hit Their Home

    When a fire broke out at the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque, there were reportedly seven people there. They managed to put out the fire with an extinguisher before firefighters arrived. The incident was termed a case of arson and a hate crime, and an investigation was subsequently launched. Police officers reportedly found graffiti mentioning the mosque attacks in New Zealand upon arriving at the site.

    An internet user, who called himself John T. Earnest, posted an open anti-Semitic letter mere hours ahead of the attack on the synagogue. The author of the letter said that he was "inspired" by Robert Bowers, who staged a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last November that killed 11 people, and Brenton Tarrant, who shot dead 50 people in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15 March.


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    synagogue, mosque, shooting, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States, California
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